You may be wondering: How is testosterone measured in a blood test? It is a steroid hormone made by the testes and is essential for sex drive, muscle mass, fertility, mood, and more. But what if you’re not producing enough of this important hormone? It could mean a number of things, from testicular or ovarian cancer to chronic illness. If you’d like to learn more, read on.
Testosterone is a steroid hormone made by the testes
Male gonads make several types of steroid hormones, including testosterone. Testosterone is the main steroid hormone produced by the testes and is essential for the development of a man’s reproductive system. Testosterone is responsible for the maturation of sperm cells and the development of male secondary sex characteristics. Female ovaries produce testosterone in small amounts, but the testes are responsible for making high concentrations of testosterone. The testes also secrete an anti-Mullerian hormone.
It is essential for sex drive, muscle mass, fertility, and mood
Although it is primarily produced in males, women also produce small amounts of testosterone in their adrenal glands. Testosterone is an androgen, which means it stimulates the development of male characteristics. If your testosterone level is low, you may experience sex drive, muscle mass, and fertility problems. Your healthcare provider can help you get back on track with a testosterone supplement.
It can indicate ovarian or testicular cancer
Tumor markers such as alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) are commonly raised in people with ovarian and testicular cancer. These markers are elevated in cancer cells and are used to monitor the effectiveness of treatment. Although elevated levels of these markers are often indicative of ovarian or testicular cancer, they are not sufficient to make a definitive diagnosis. A patient may have other conditions that also raise their levels.
It can also indicate chronic illness
Unlike acute conditions, which are temporary and will disappear on their own, chronic illnesses are progressive. As such, they require ongoing medical care. In addition to identifying treatment options, chronic illnesses can indicate underlying conditions and health issues that will not get better on their own. These conditions often occur in the elderly. Although the former is less likely to cause death, it can still have a lasting impact on a patient’s quality of life.
Symptoms of low testosterone
Low levels of testosterone in a blood test are a warning sign that a patient is suffering from an underlying condition. Low levels of this hormone can result in a variety of symptoms, including irregular menstrual periods and excessive facial hair. Other possible symptoms of low testosterone include acne, weight gain and even genetic conditions. If you suspect a blood test for testosterone is needed, your doctor will perform some tests to help pinpoint the cause.
Testosterone levels are best evaluated from blood drawn in the morning
Testing for testosterone levels requires a fasted state, as food can suppress its level. Morning blood is the most accurate time to collect this sample. Testosterone levels are affected by various factors, including the time of day, gender, and health. Doctors can provide clarification about the reliability of test results, the laboratory used, and the reference range for this test. They can also explain the importance of avoiding certain foods and drinks before the test.
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